I don’t know what to write about today

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I don’t know what to write about today. It’s a drab, dreary kind of a weekday – the rain comes and goes and comes back again, dark clouds scooting across the sky propelled by a cold wind that feels more like winter than spring. The world feels bleaker too. War drums beating across Europe. Rights being stripped away. Social media imploding. Bad things happening to good people. Division, dissent, displacement.

I woke up this morning thinking that I’d write a story about the 2018 Dubai Tour, every single stage of which started at a sky diving centre. I was going to trawl our photographic archives for Marcel Kittel getting blasted up a tube, Mark Cavendish floating suspended above an enormous fan with his mouth stretched out like he was at the dentist. No such photos existed, and then Google Maps revealed that Sky Dive Dubai wasn’t even that kind of (indoor) sky diving centre. It was just a green field to aim at from the sky. Dead end.

Besides, does a non-existent skydiving story feel tonally right, anyway, in the here and now, not the ‘then’? 

So I’ve been doomscrolling. In some ways, it takes me back to that early pandemic feeling where the crushing weight of everything crowds in from all angles all at once. I need to write about something but feel like I don’t want to write about anything, especially not today when the world feels bleaker and the cycling world is quiet and there’s this numbing void in my brain. What stories are there I can tell?

Bikes. That’s what we’re here for, isn’t it? On the weekend I went for a ride with my daughter to Bunnings, the biggest ride she’s ever taken. I was proud and she was proud and we both spoke afterwards about how it made our heads feel a little bit calmer, doing this perfect activity together, and then we went and got fish and chips.

It’s a type of connection I’d always hoped for when I became a parent, without even realising the longing was there. Now it’s here, it’s everything. I don’t know if it makes up for the bad stuff – the global stuff, the local stuff, the personal stuff; all the ways that we fail ourselves and are failed by others  – but it has to close some of the gap, surely. 

I don’t know what to write about today. There are seeds of stories growing, but they aren’t ready to harvest. There are elephants clomping around the room, their booming footsteps rattling picture frames off the wall. There’s a gnawing discomfort roiling away, and I don’t know how to switch it off. 

I don’t want to ride my bike, which means that I know that I need to. When I get back I hope everything makes a bit more sense. 

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